Carroll County Times
Carroll County

Annual banquet once again a success

Ed Block Courage Award Foundation: Martin's West once again served as the venue for the NFL's tribute to one member from each team, as selected by their teammates, who overcame injury and/or adversity as it relates to childhood abuse. Proceeds from the event benefit abused children.

Ed Block, for whom the award is named, was a long time trainer with the Baltimore Colts. He was very compassionate, and always showed concern for the plight of abused children.

And, even though our Baltimore Colts did leave Baltimore, Sam continued this annual banquet.

This sports oriented organization started in 1978, with the vision of founder, Sam Lamantia, to fundraise money to benefit abused children.

Unfortunately, March 1984 our beloved Baltimore Colts, Robert Irsay transported the Colts belongings to Indianapolis under cover of darkness, thus leaving Baltimore without a football franchise for 12 years. Thankfully and with gargantuan thanks to Art Modell, as mentioned above, 12 years later, another NFL franchise was brought to Baltimore, and the rest is history. Baltimore is enthusiastic with our present "Ravens team."

Fortunately - destiny - in 1984, Sam, John Lopez, a professional athletic trainer, and all the NFL athletic trainers worked with Sister Grace Calvisi of St. Vincent's Center (for abused kids) in Towson and took this football event to the national level.

With the involvement of the NFL, the NFL Players Association, NFL Alumnae Association, NFL Films, Professional Football Athletic Trainers Society and Pro Football Hall of Fame, plus NFL Charities, this annual football event is a prestigious mega success in Baltimore.

Even Roger Goodell, the current Commissioner of Football, supports nationally, fun(d) raising to benefit abused children.

Sam's overall goal is to establish a "Courage House" for abused kids in all 32 NFL cities.

This goal has already been a success. Currently there are 23 Courage Houses established in the cities of Pittsburgh, Chicago, Miami, Detroit, Dallas, Baltimore, N. Y. Giants, Oakland, Seattle, Carolina, Cleveland, Atlanta, St. Louis, Indianapolis, Buffalo, San Francisco, Minnesota, Green Bay, Tampa Bay, Washington, Philadelphia, San Diego and New Orleans.

Courage Houses remain to be dedicated: Arizona, Cincinnati, Houston, Jacksonville, Kansas City, New England, New York Jets and Tennessee.

The 2013 Ed Block Courage Award recipients include:

AFC East: Buffalo Bills, Art Moats; Miami Dolphins, Paul Soliai; New England Patriots, Sebastian Vollmer; New York Jets, Isaiah Trufant;

AFC North: Baltimore Ravens, Jameel McClain; Cincinnati Bengals, Robert Geathers; Cleveland Browns, T.J. Ward; Pittsburgh Steelers, Heath Miller.

AFC South: Houston Texans, Brian Cushing; Indianapolis Colts, Cory Redding; Jacksonville Jaguars, Will Rackley; Tennessee Titans, David Stewart.

AFC West: Denver Bronchos, Knowshon Moreno; Kansas City Chiefs, Rodney Hudson; Oakland Raiders, Khalif Barnesl; San Diego Chargers, Vince Brown.

NFC East, Dallas Cowboys, Barry Church; New York Giants, Terrell Thomas; Philadelphia Eagles, Jason Kelce; Washington Redskins, Robert Griffin III.

NFC North: Chicago Bears, Patrick Mannelly; Detroit Lions, Nate Burleson; Green Bay Packers, Johnny Jolly; Minnesota Vikings, Kevin Williams.

NFC South: Atlanta Falcons, Roddy White; Carolina Panthers, Ryan Kalil; New Orleans Saints: Marques Colston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Darrelle Revis.

NFC West: Arizona Cardinals, Rashad Johnson; St Louis Rams, Lance Kendricks; San Francisco 49ers, Jonathan Goodwin; Seattle Seahawks, Chris Clemons.

Personable emcees for the program agenda were Scott Garceau and Mike Hill.

Note: Denver Bronchos were AFC Champs; Seattle Seahawks were NFC Champs.

The 2013 NFL Athletic Training Staff of the year, Houston Texans, included Geoff Kaplan, head athletic trainer; A.J. Van Valkenburgh, director of rehabilitation Roland Ramirez, assistant athletic trainer.

Congrats to all the recipients of the Ed Block Courage Awards. Everyone was treated with respect during their stay in Baltimore. All were honored and treated royally.

Gargantuan thanks to everyone involved with the success of our Ed Block Courage Award Foundation: Sam Lamantia Jr., founder & CEO; Will Pateris, director of operations; Paul Mittermeier, director of communications; Dann Shannon, art director; Lenny Moore, president emeritus; Mary Ann Peacock and G.G. Hyle, volunteer operations directors, plus the zillions of great volunteers too numerable to list due to space limitations.

Again, another overall fantastic success, thanks also to Wayne Resnick and Martins West, the fab lovely venue for this annual football exciting spectacular event.